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Bound by Blood and Sand

(Bound by Blood and Sand #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,185 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.

Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Delacorte Press
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Becky BBB&S is a fantasy novel so there's no exact correlation to real word ethnicities. (That said, Jae and pretty much the whole cast are black/brown skin…moreBBB&S is a fantasy novel so there's no exact correlation to real word ethnicities. (That said, Jae and pretty much the whole cast are black/brown skinned.)(less)
Becky It's a duology, book two will finish the story up.
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Fafa's Book Corner
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner!

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this Arc in participation of the blog tour and the Sunday street team. When I saw this book amongst the October SST I immediately signed up. I liked the synopsis and I thought that this book would be very interesting. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

I was not sure whether or not I would like this book. Considering that the main character is a slave I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take. I was actually quite surprised th
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen
Book one of the Bound by Blood and Sand series
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.

Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae d
Dec 18, 2015 rated it liked it
" the vein of Tamora Pierce"



Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
I really did want to like this one a bit more than I actually did. It's fine, and it is a debut novel, so I'm willing to cut a bit of slack here. There was nothing particularly wrong, it just fell a bit flat for me. I had a hard time getting invested in the characters, wanting a bit more depth from them. Although the stories are totally different, it's hard not to compare this book to another 2016 debut desert-themed YA fantasy, Rebel of the Sands, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

That said, I'm not c
Shera (Book Whispers)
“Everything Jae had ever known was a lie.”
I've been waiting for something "in the vein of Tamora Pierce" for a pretty long time. What I truly love is that Bound by Blood and Sand does not claim to be Tamora Pierce, the next Tamora Pierce, or a combination of popular or similarly loved books. In fact, once the official synopsis hit "in the vein of Tamora Pierce" vanished. Though I do firmly believe that if you were—still are!—a fan of Tamora Pierce's work and the young adult fantasy genre tha
You know I hear of a lot of people who don't like romances in their books, more so in fantasies. If that is you, THEN GRAB THIS BOOK!! There's literally like .4% romance with the non-main characters. For them, there's like pretty much NO CHEMISTRY!! SO PLATONIC! I usually like romances but was pleasantly surprised at how the author wrote this eventual shift from suspicion to trust. IT WAS SO DAMN REALISTIC. And leaves way more room for magic, secrets unveiled, and a world to be saved.

Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Magical slavery and survival in a fantasy desert world.

Jae is a slave, one of the Closest, magically cursed to obey the ruling class of their desert country. The country is in trouble with a series of droughts causing them to abandon their outlying settlements and the deaths of the Closest of those settlements. As descendants of traitors he Closest aren't worth evacuating. In a remote outpost with a long history Jae discovers magic; magic that might save her outpost and even free her people, but
Sigrid Ellis
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book.

1. The way magic works in this world is described in ways I have never encountered before, and that is a RARE gift in fantasy novels.

2. The prose is tight, and clean, and easy to read.

3. The characters all have entirely comprehensible motivations and reasons, and no-one ever carries the idiot stick just because the plot says so.

4. This is the best and more nuanced description of ally-ship I can remember encountering in fiction.

There are characters who begin with mor
Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one! Didn't love it though. It was pretty slow but the world buildings and the characters were fantastic. I do wish there had been some romance though. That's what was lacking in this story for me. I'm hoping for some in the next book which I can't wait to read.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Just an eh book.

Not much of a fan of Elan. Jae could have been better if she had a better male companion. Tal was my favorite.

Plot was well thought, execution made it boring.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
1.5 stars

I’ve been so curious about Bound by Blood and Sand for along time. It’s one of those weird books that basically no one had a review copy of. No one I’m friends with on Goodreads has read this book. It came out in October and has 60 reviews as of mid-January. This book’s basically unknown, and sad to say that’s maybe not a bad thing. UNTAGGED SPOILERS AHEAD YO.

Not to put to a fine a point on it, but Bound by Blood and Sand is not a good book. It’s a whole bunch of fantasy and dystopian c
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You said it was a sacrifice. Coming from me, it's a gift.”

I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. I picked this one up mainly for the cover - I love the bright colors and interesting title. The beginning of the story was a little jarring - I had to learn the lingo and understand about the Curse and water shortage - the drought. Also learning about Tal and Jae and how their lives were so very different from royalty and those not Cursed.

I did enjoy it - the twists and turns. I will defini
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
I hate the heat. So so much. So I would absolutely hate living in a true desert. Especially a desert where there is so little water to be had.

But that is exactly the kind of world that Bound by Blood and Sand takes place in.

The world is a desert. The places where people inhabit are few and far between and vary in size. And thanks to the drought that the world is finding itself in - the smaller places might end up being deserted.

However, not everyone gets to go. There happens to be a group of peo
Leena Dbouk
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-ya
I was shocked how much I enjoyed this book. There were a few things that I found particularly irritating (everyone tends to "snap" at one another) but overall it was enjoyable and I hated putting it down.

The world is one that many have seen before (mages control elements, slaves, an evil king, a handsome prince) but Allen puts her own unique twist to her world (slaves are totally obedient and cannot lie) and shockingly, it works and doesn't sound recycled.

Where language was the weakest part of t
Nov 28, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Since Goodreads has started recommending my own book to me, I figured I should probably mark it as read.

BBB&S is the story of what happens when the only girl who find magic that could save the world would rather watch everything burn. It's about anger and family and the power that comes from learning the truth. It's an adventure through the desert that will, I hope, leave you desperate for a glass of water.

I think it's pretty great! But hey, I wrote it, I'm biased. And yes, a sequel will be out
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
DNF @ 60%

This was not a terrible book, but it was absolutely unremarkable in every way.

I did not feel an attachment to any of the characters because everything just felt so generic. I actually got through 60% of the book in one sitting, but the moment I put this down, I found other novels that sounded far more interesting. And now I have no desire to continue this.

Obviously I've been reading too much YA.
Incredible. It's definitely going to be on my top 5 list (if not tied for 1st) for 2016 books. Review to come closer to release date!

Definitely add this one to your TBR!
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is one of those books that captivated me deeply with its beginning, but ultimately fell through somewhat in the final stretch. I enjoyed reading it, and had a difficult time putting it down for the first half of the novel, but the last fourth or so ended up a bit of a slog for a couple of different reasons. I think if the second half of the novel was as compelling to me as the first half, I would have easily given this book a 4 or even a 5.

Bound by Blood and Sand is a book about Jae, a 17 y
2 stars
Bound by Blood and Sand is yet another slow and generic YA fantasy. I found the writing to be rather dry and the pacing to be painfully slow, with the story starting 60% in and then being very straightforward. I would have dnf'd this way before though, if it weren't for the simple fact that I was the one to recommend this book to my library. Oops.

The characters were bland and unlikable and I couldn't bring myself to feel any way towards them, with the main characters having no chemistry a
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)

Fantasy has never been one of my favorite genres, but lately it has been really getting on my nerves. With super generic plots, similar premises and annoying marketing techniques, I mostly ignore Fantasy books these days. I have no idea how this book slipped under so many people's radar, but I hope more people read it. The world in Bound by Blood and Sand is so unique that it immediately caught my attention. Jae and her twin brother Tal are part of the race called The Closest, who are curse
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
This book exceeded my expectations. I'm honestly at a loss for proper words right now, I am that blown away. Please, add this to your TBR NOW.

Full review here:

This story caught me off guard. Based on the reviews alone I chose to give it a go and I was not disappointed. From the first few minutes of this audio, I was hooked. I wanted to do nothing but finish this book. Sadly, my bills had other plans and I was forced to stop once in a while but when I was
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book... Ah, this book. It has slavery as a background. But it's magical slavery, meaning there's no chance at all for rebellion. The plot itself was a bit too convoluted at times, with lots and lots of names to keep track of. (I'm still not sure on who the bad guys are/were, to be honest). It still held my interest, however. I liked Jae as a character, though she could be annoying and whiny at times. Bonus: no insta-love! YAY!

(view spoiler)
Sep 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF - read 104 pages.

Going in I knew that there would be slavery. But the amount of rapes that take place in 100 pages alone is enough to make me feel uneasy. It's not my cup of tea, so I won't be finishing this book...
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super unique story -- felt a bit like Ella Enchanted meets An Ember in the Ashes. Full review to come!
Melissa Williams
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: need-to-buy-tbr
anything that is compared to TAMORA PIERCE.....

This book was very original. It was very descriptive in its writing. While reading this book, it gives somewhat of an emotional connection with Jae.
Jacob Schilling
Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen is an ambitious undertaking for an author’s first book. The story is told through the eyes of Jae; a Closest slave under the Curse set upon the Closest by the Highest. Jae lives in a post-magical world built by mages that had created a magic Well that would sustain the world with water forever. However, the Well is running dry and the Highest are evacuating satellite estates and bringing other upper class citizens into the inner cities and leaving the Close ...more
Kelly Sierra
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2016
Okay, I am going to go and give this book 4 stars. How amazing was that?! But really this book has great elements that promises for a great series.

Let talk about world building, because that's Allen's biggest feat in this first novel of the series. In Jae's world there is a caste system, primarily of the Avowed (the bureaucratic and noble type) and the Closest (pretty much just slaves). The Avowed run the world and everyone in it, and the Closest are indentured slaves that are paying for the si
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I absolutely love the concept behind this book—the idea that there are cursed people who can't speak, but that there is more to them than meets the eye. At first, I was really worried about what the idea would mean and how it would be carried out, but I am really pleased with what the author managed to do with the concept. Also, I am so happy that the book avoided both the installée and love triangle tropes that seem to plague YA books—something I was worried would happen
Alli Cooper
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
What an amazingly interesting world this book is set in! There are multiple casts that society is divided into- The Highest, The Avowed, The Twill, and The Closest. The Closests are slaves, bound by magic because of a rebellion that happened generations ago. They cannot speak to higher casts, cannot disobey an order from Avowed or higher, and must answer any question with the complete truth. We follow our main character as she stands up to those who have abused her and against the systematic opp ...more
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Becky Allen grew up in a tiny town outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the website director of, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. Becky lives in New York City.

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  • Freed by Flame and Storm (Bound by Blood and Sand, #2)

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